My partner and I have to fast approaching decisions to make. We left the Bristol, VT area almost two years ago for personal and practical reasons. Our plan was to return before our eldest, now 3.5, began school. However, as life happens, we're growing more and more embedded in RI. So, I feel this crossroads is approaching where we must choose to head back to VT and settle our family down. Here's our dilemma:
Our family is in RI but many close friends are in VT. We LOVE the small, self contained community in Bristol. There are things going on, things to do and there is a small walkable area. There is a very active community. We had hoped to Unschool but we're just not sure how that will be possible or if it's a real fit for our family. Next best thing would be a Waldorf or Montessori style program but I'm not really in favour of private schools for many reasons (though I'll send my kids there if the only other alternative is a harsh, impersonal public school like the ones I attended in RI). In Bristol, the schools are small and allow for a lot if creativity and self direction (especially the high school). The elementary school has all mixed age classrooms and they adhere to principles of mutual respect and open play.
So...is there anyway we can recreate these experiences in the RI/Southeastern MA area? Are there any towns that sound like this? What about good schooling options? Do you love your school and town? Will you tell me why and what you love?
Thanks for your time!